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13 Dec 2022, 13:41
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany curtails four percent of renewable power production due to grid bottlenecks

taz

Around four percent of the renewable electricity generated in Germany could not be used in the first half of 2022 because the grids lacked the capacity to transmit power, newspaper Die Tageszeitung (taz) reported. Roughly 5.4 billion kilowatt hours of potential electricty production with renewables were lost due to grid bottlenecks, figures by Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) had shown. Almost 60 percent of the output cuts were forced upon onshore wind turbines and about a third on offshore turbines, while solar PV installations only accounted for a small fraction of throttled production. Since the installed capacity of offshore turbines is much smaller than that of onshore turbines, the curtailments meant that one sixth of the total potential of offshore wind production remained unused. Most electricity production losses occurred in the state of Lower Saxony, which has the highest installed wind power capacity of all German states.

In 2021, the cost for grid operators of these so-called re-dispatch measures amounted to 1.5 billion euros, this had already reached 1.4 billion euros first quarter of 2022. However, operators of renewable power installations are remunerated also for the power they were unable to produce, which amounted to more than 800 million euros in compensation in 2021. This was funded through grid fees paid by power customers. The construction of major transmission lines that can transport renewable power from Germany’s windy northern coastlines to industrial centres in the south has been held up by administrative procedures for years. Northern states have called for splitting the country into two different price zones to let states that already have a high share of renewable power benefit from lower prices.

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